This paper analyses the valuable information provided by the on-line measurements of pH and oxidation reduction potential (ORP) in a continuous single high ammonia removal over nitrite (SHARON) reactor. A laboratory-scale SHARON reactor equipped with pH, ORP, electric conductivity and dissolved oxygen (DO) probes has been operated for more than one year. Nitrogen removal over nitrite has been achieved by adding methanol at the beginning of anoxic stages. Time evolution of pH and ORP along each cycle allows identifying the decrease in nitritation rate when ammonia is consumed during the aerobic phase and the end of the denitrification process during the anoxic phase. Therefore, monitoring pH and ORP can be used to develop a real-time control system aimed at optimizing the length of both aerobic and anoxic stages. Real-time control of methanol addition can be carried out by using the information provided by these probes: excessive methanol addition in the anoxic stage is clearly detected in the ORP profile of the following aerobic phase, while a deficit of methanol is detected in both pH and ORP profiles of that anoxic phase. Moreover, other valuable information such as the amount of ammonia nitrified, failures in DO measurements, excessive stirring during the anoxic stage and methanol dosage in the aerobic phase was also provided by the pH and ORP profiles.
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